Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will play Wednesday night in Toronto, meaning he’ll serve his one-game suspension for skipping the All-Star Game on Feb. 1, when the Capitals host the Calgary Flames in their first game back from the all-star break. Washington is on a six-game losing streak — its longest in five years — entering its game against the Maple Leafs.
As the top fan-vote selection among players in the Metropolitan Division, Ovechkin was named the team’s captain for the All-Star Game in San Jose this weekend, but he decided he’d prefer to use that time to rest. Because the Capitals' bye week is right after the all-star break, their players will be getting a week off. But the NHL requires any player who skips the All-Star Game to not play in either the game immediately before or after the event. Washington decided to hold Ovechkin out after the break.
“It’s all the little things right now,” Ovechkin said earlier this month. “You can take the short offseason, a long [playoff] run, but right now my body needs a rest. I’m not saying it’s sore or something, but for us I think it’s the right decision.”
In the Capitals' 7-6 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, Ovechkin scored his third hat trick of the season. He leads the league with 36 goals while averaging more than 21 minutes per game, the most he has played since the 2010-11 season, when he was 25. Wednesday’s game in Toronto will be his 209th straight, a streak that will end when Washington returns from its week off.
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